American evangelicalism is addicted to end times speculation. From the Left Behind series to prophecy seminars, it seems as though the chant that these are the “last days” has risen to the level of Gospel truth. Only a fool or an unbeliever would doubt, much less deny, that Jesus is coming soon. But what if the texts that many prophecy teachers are using to convince people of their programs for the future are being interpreted all wrong? What if the Olivet Discourse (Mark 13), in particular, with its signs of the “end of the world”, isn’t pointing to the end of the world at all? What would that mean for our fascination with end times speculation and for our understanding of Jesus’ ministry?
In Part One: This Generation, we discover what Jesus is addressing in the Olivet Discourse and when He thought the events would occur. In Part Two: More Than Meets the Eye, we take up the question of the language that Jesus uses to describe these events and explore its Old Testament background.